Is landscape fragmentation always detrimental for species conservation? The case of the Iberian lynx in central Spain
Ecological Complexity 49 (2022)
The patch-corridor-matrix is the most commonly used model when dealing with landscape characterization studies, but it shows relevant limitations to detect landscape heterogeneity. Other authors have used a functional approach, since it is well known that nutrient, mineral and energy flows exist among ecosystems. These flows can be perceived in boundaries between different landcovers, making possible the identification of spatial units sharing a common pattern of ecological interactions known as mosaics. While the influence of each mosaic over a certain species has been previously addressed, no attention has been given to the intra-mosaic variation. The aim of this research is to assess the influence of functional diversity and connectivity, on the habitat suitability of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus). For this, we built two GLMs to test if these features show a differential effect on lynxes’ habitat suitability depending on the mosaic. Both GLMs built show that the influence of these landscape features on lynxes’ habitat suitability depends on the landscape spatial organization and landcover composition, suggesting that there is no unique response of a species to changes in landscape diversity and/or connectivity. Thus, we conclude that considering both landscape and species features would allow to a better integration of land management strategies and conservation actions, which could favor species adaptation to highly human- modified landscapes.